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Mayfield, Browns vs. Mahomes, Chiefs Tops CBS Week 1 Games for 2021 NFL Schedule

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scrambles during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Steve Luciano/Associated Press

The reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium to headline CBS' Week 1 coverage of the 2021 NFL season on Sept. 12.

With the full schedule set for release Wednesday night, the NFL on CBS provided its entire slate for the opening weekend, which also includes the likely debut of the Jacksonville Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, and other high-profile games:

The Chiefs and Browns are two of the top contenders in the AFC heading into the 2021 campaign.

Kansas City has reached the Super Bowl each of the past two years. It defeated the San Francisco 49ers to win the franchise's second Super Bowl title at the end of the 2019, but its repeat bid came up short against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February.

Cleveland is on the hunt for its first Super Bowl championship, and expectations this year are higher than they have been in decades after the team advanced to the divisional round of last season's playoffs before a close 22-17 loss to the Chiefs.

"It's been years in the making, but it takes having the right pieces and having the right guys involved for all of this to happen," Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said in April.

Meanwhile, Lawrence became the most prized quarterback prospect since possibly Andrew Luck in 2012 after standout high school and collegiate careers saw him showcase all the tools to eventually become a perennial MVP candidate. First, he must help head coach Urban Meyer turn around the Jags franchise.

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Jacksonville's new era should have a golden opportunity to start on a high note in Week 1 as it visits a Houston Texans squad that finished 30th in total defense last year. The Texans are also facing uncertainty with quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct against 22 women in multiple lawsuits.

Other games of note from CBS' first slate of the year include another top-tier AFC contender in the Buffalo Bills hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, and new Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold welcoming his old team, the New York Jets, to Bank of America Stadium.

The full 17-game, 18-week schedule will be released for all networks 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

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